On This Day, February 7th
1. 1964: The Beatles American invasion begins
Just six weeks after “I Want to Hold Your Hand” reached the top spot on U.S. charts, the Beatles step foot on American soil for the first time on this date in 1984. More than 3,000 screaming fans greet the “Fab Four” as Pan Am flight 101 lands at the Kennedy airport. There was so much excitement in the air that a riot nearly broke out when John, Ringo, Paul, and George stepped off the plane. Interestingly, the legendary musicians later told reporters that on the plane ride over they were more nervous to go America than they had been when conquering France, Sweden, Germany, and even their home country of England. Ringo even went as far as to say “It was like an octopus….I could feel, like, tentacles coming up to the plane it was so exciting.” However just two days later they would make their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Even though their first trip to the U.S. lasted only two weeks, they had won the hearts of ever teenage boy and girl in the country.
2. 1984: First human being to fly untethered in space
It was on this date in 1984 that Captain Bruce McCandless II became the first human being to fly untethered in space when he exited the U.S. space shuttle Challenger more than 170 miles above the Earths surface. He did this by using new rocket pack technology called a Manned Maneuvering Unit, otherwise known as an MMU. McCandless flew in tandem with the space shuttle for approximately an hour and a half and at times was more than 320 feet away from the shuttle which was something that had never been accomplished before. Later on that day, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Stewart also took the rocket pack out for a spin making history as the second man to fly untethered. This new technology was a giant step towards future operations and servicing of satellites that currently orbit the Earth.
3. 1904: Baltimore devastated by a massive fire
It was on this date in 1904 that a massive fire broke out in the city of Baltimore, Maryland that would end up causing more than $100 million in property damage. The fire is believed to have been started in the basement of the Hurst Building by a discarded cigarette. Heavy winds turned what might’ve been a controllable blaze into a fiery inferno that would last almost 31 hours and engulfed more than 80 city blocks. More than 1,500 buildings were destroyed and at least 1,000 more severely damaged. This was the most devasting fire since the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871 that destroyed more than half of the city and caused upwards of $200 million in damages. Luckily though, as bad as the Baltimore fire was, not a single life was lost nor any residential homes.